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The Toronto, Canada mission is an area blessed with cultural diversity. Canadian people are known for being friendly and inviting. The culture has been mainly influenced by England, France, and Native traditions. There is also a lot of cultural crossover with the United States – American entertainment is popular in the area, while many Canadian musicians, athletes, entertainers, and writers have found success internationally as well. Ice hockey and lacrosse are Canada’s most popular sports, though curling and football (specifically the “CFL”, a variant of the American “NFL”) are also popular.
Canada’s two official languages are English and French. Because of this, all advertisements, brands, and products are printed in both languages. However, Ontario doesn’t have near as large of a French speaking population as it’s neighbor, Quebec, where French is the primary and official language. Due to this missions diverse population, some missionaries will also be called to speak Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Farsi, or Portuguese.
The prevalent Christian denominations in the Toronto, Canada mission are the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and United Church religions. Islam is also very common, due to the large muslim population in the province.
The church is still growing in this mission with some well established stakes and members in larger cities and smaller “phase one” buildings with only about 40 members in rural areas. Missionaries do not have a lot of regular contact with members but will see them at stake activities and during splits (when missionaries and members teach together). Members are especially enthusiastic about missionary work and want to help the church grow in their area.
Popular Canadian foods include Poutine (french fries covered with cheese and gravy), butter tarts (a dessert item made of butterscotch and maple flavors), and maple syrup. Several different types of meat are hunted and eaten in more rural areas of the country, including caribou, venison, elk, and even seal. Street vendors sell hot dogs, falafel, pizza, and other fast-food-type items in the major cities. Most of the typical American fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, KFC, and Burger King are present.
Since the province of Ontario is so large, most companionships have a car. If there are multiple companionships in a city, one will have a car and the other will typically walk or use bikes to get around. All sisters receive cars for transportation. In bigger cities, busses are used for transport.
This is a very safe mission. Missionaries do not need to worry about anything out of the ordinary and only need to practice basic safety guidelines like locking up your bike, and not leaving expensive belongings unattended. Following the mission guidelines will keep you more than safe.
Canadians celebrate many holidays including American Thanksgiving, Canadian Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas, Canada Day, Family Day, Civic Holidays and much more. Future missionaries can prepare for Canadian holidays by learning the song “O Canada” as missionaries will certainly sing it regularly.
It is a common and expected courtesy in Canada to take off your shoes when entering someone’s home. It is polite to do so in the winter to keep from bringing snow and street salt into the house. This winter tradition carries on into the summer months as well. Many missionaries buy laceless church shoes that slip easily on and off.
As is widely known about Canadian culture, “Eh” is the most common Canadian phrase. It is usually used in place of where we most commonly hear “huh” or “right?”. The term “washroom” is used when referring to the restroom. A winter hat that we call a “beanie”, is called a “tuque” (pronounced ‘too-k’) in Canada. Another common Canadian phrase, of British origin, is, “Call again soon.” This does not mean to call them on the phone, but to come to their house again soon. Finally, the term, “Pardon?” is used very frequently. This is usually said when someone doesn’t understand or mishears. It is simply their polite way of saying, “I didn’t hear you” or “Can you please repeat that?”
Missionaries that serve in Canada can qualify for free healthcare after living there for three months. The free health clinics are very accessible in this mission.
1624 Wanless Drive
Brampton ON L7A 0A7
Straight from the Canada Toronto Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“you could meet the whole world in metro toronto”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Canada Toronto Mission?
“bring very warm clothes for a bone chilling winter, and bring very cool clothes for a very humid summer”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“the high humidity weather”